Dear Mr Paul Sutton,
I am a high school senior looking get an interview with someone who is knowledgeable in technology advancements during WWI and WWII. If I could have a moment of your time, so that you can read over these questions and answer them to the best of your ability, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time,
1. How did you become interested in (WWI/WWII) technology?
2. What technologies were significant and innovated technologies during the war?
3. In what way did (that) technology impact the war?
4. Were some countries hesitant/scared to use this new technology?
5. What technologies did governments help to develop and encourage the development of during the war?
6. What technologies developed for the war, repurposed for civilian use.
7. What major technologies during that time ended up being precursors for future technology?
8. Do you have anything else important that you could add on about WWI or WWII
Glad to help
I am an aircraft nut. My grandfather on my father's side was a a flight engineer on C-47s and B-17s during after World War 2. Also when I was 5 I lived just outside Macdill Air Force base. I saw F-4 Phantoms almost every day flying and fell in love with flight. One of my favorite books as a child was a book on the history of aviation from World War 1 to World War 2. The more I read and looked at the pictures the more I was captured the the beauty of flight. The sense of strapping into a airplane and leaving the earth was a true passion. My father was in the Navy reserve and had served board an aircraft carrier in the 1960s his stories of being at sea and being a passenger on several aircraft were among my favorite. In high school I had access to several libraries that allowed my to study military technology and history. Each book was like a new adventure in time and space.
For World War 1 the technology that ruled the battlefield at first was the battleship, the machine gun, the K98 rifle and it brothers the Lee Enfield. Later in the war the airplane, tank and submarine came into their own. Chemical weapons were also used in World War 1 along with massive usage of radio communication.
For World War 2 at the start of the war the Tank, submarine, and the bomber. World War 2 saw the massive use of electronic warfare in the usage of radar, code making and breaking, and radar jamming technology and night guidance. As the war progressed the jet fighter, the man portable anti tank rocket, the assault rifle and the strategic bomber armed with atomic weapons changed warfare.
In World War 1 the development and usage of the machine gun forced a stalemate of the war. Two men with a machine gun could kill hundreds or hold up whole regiments from moving. The machine gun brought about trench warfare. The German submarine threat brought massive changes to the British navy. The development of convoys, the depth charge and early forms of sonar were counters to the submarine menace. Aircraft at the beginning of World War 1 were flimsy machines for use only as recon. As the war progressed better engines and air frames lead to the first fighters, bombers and even transport aircraft. The German then Allies use of chemical weapons changed infantry tactics Infantry now had to carry chemical suits to protect from gas weapons. The British use of the tank lead the Germans to develop antitank rifles. Every move had a counter move.
In World War 2 tanks had advanced but how to use tanks had jumped froward. The Panzer or armored division moved war out of the trench. The Germans usage of small radios in all tanks allowed for unparalleled control and maximum efficiency the tank units. The development of radar led to new command and control systems that helped British win the Battle of Britain. In the USA a billion dollar project to build 2 types of atomic weapons was the high point of technology. The USA built several atomic reactors and used them to make plutonium; along with uranium could be used to build an atomic bomb. The US also built the B-29 bomber that was designed as a conventional bomber but was quickly modified to carry atomic weapons.
Germany during World War 1 was very hesitant to use submarines against civilian ships. Unrestricted nearly won the war for Germany but it did help bring the US into the World War 1 against Germany. The US did develop a very interesting weapon during World War 1, the Browning automatic rifle or BAR. I consider this to be the worlds first assault rifle. Fear of the Germans getting this weapon meant the US had to to use terrible french machine guns. During World War 2 the Germans developed nerve gas chemical weapons but never used them. The British and the Soviets had large stock piles of mustard gas and Hitler had been gassed during World War 1 and thus no chemical weapons were used in large scale attacks in World War 2. The Japaneses did use some in China. Their was some resistance to using the atomic bomb in the US but the millions of dead Chines and events such as the kamikaze attacks and the Bataan death march destroyed any argument of not using the bomb.
Governments using tax dollars pursed the development of Radar, atomic weapon and jet engines for World War 2. For World War 1 the major expanse was battleships. The German put money behind rockets in the 1930s.
Almost everything developed for the military ended up in the post war civil life. Radar led to air traffic control systems, Jet engines lead to jet airlines and jumbo jets. Atomic bombs lead to civilian power plants. Computer developed during World War 2 lead to the information revolution of today. After World War 1 bombers were developed into the the first passenger aircraft.
Computers has to be the answer for question 7. The first digital computer were used to crack the German coding machine. Today you can encode your own data. Cell phone marry the potable radios of World War 2 with digital computers making information at your fingertips almost anywhere you are.
Both World War 1 and World War 2 were great tragedies. The lose of life and nearly civilization was dreadful. The technology that came of the both conflicts has helped both military and civilian lives but at great cost.
I hope this helps and if you need any additional information please ask